Saturday, May 21, 2016

History Documentary: The Mayas, History of Ball Games; Rubber Balls in Mexico: a Mayan Tradition. The Mesoamerican ballgame

The Mesoamerican ballgame (ōllamaliztli in Nahuatl (Nahuatl pronunciation: [oːlːamaˈlistɬi]), pitz in Classical Maya, modern Spanish "El juego de la pelota") was a sport with ritual associations played since 1,400 BC by the pre-Columbian peoples of Ancient Mesoamerica. The sport had different versions in different places during the millennia, and a newer more modern version of the game, ulama, is still played in a few places by the indigenous population.
The rules of ōllamaliztli are not known, but judging from its descendant, ulama, they were probably similar to racquetball, where the aim is to keep the ball in play. The stone ballcourt goals are a late addition to the game.

Map showing sites where early ballcourts, balls, or figurines have been recovered

In the most common theory of the game, the players struck the ball with their hips, although some versions allowed the use of forearms, rackets, bats, or handstones. The ball was made of solid rubber and weighed as much as 4 kg (9 lbs), and sizes differed greatly over time or according to the version played.

The game had important ritual aspects, and major formal ballgames were held as ritual events, often featuring human sacrifice. The sport was also played casually for recreation by children and perhaps even women.

Pre-Columbian ballcourts have been found throughout Mesoamerica, as for example at Copán, as far south as modern Nicaragua, and possibly as far north as what is now the U.S. state of Arizona. These ballcourts vary considerably in size, but all have long narrow alleys with slanted side-walls against which the balls could bounce.

Source: Wikipedia

No comments:

Post a Comment